Tag Archives: Xbox 360

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Release Date Moved Up

Warner Bros. Interactive has revealed that Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has moved up a week, making it yet another game that is sneaking out of the over-crowded month of October.

The game was originally set to release on October 7th, but now it is hitting North America on September 30th. The game will then be released on PC and Steam on October 2nd.

WB claims that the release was moved up due to fans excitement, but I think it’s pretty obvious that October 7th  was simply too crowded of a release date. The date still hols NBA 2k15, DriveClub and Alien: Isolation, with Dragon Age: Inquisition recently being pushed back to November from its original October 7th release date.

Enemy Front Banner

Enemy Front (Xbox 360) Review – Someone Please Shoot ME!!!

The World War II genre is one that has been milked for many years now, with just about every interesting style of gameplay or vision being utilized by several different series. Call of Duty was one such franchise that found so much success with it that it is now the biggest franchise in gaming and has 3 different developers making sequels on a 3-year cycle. There are countless imitators out there trying to find even a sliver of juice left in this machine, because they know that it will sell due its pedigree alone. Has developer CI Games found something with Enemy Front to breathe some fresh air back into this genre? The simple answer is no.

The concept of Enemy Front is pretty simple: you are a war correspondent named Robert Hawkins that is right in the middle of World War II. You will journey across many levels containing wave after wave of enemies and it is your job to get to the end in one piece. In the midst of this you will come across some characters that will help you along your journey, and the occasional flashback sequence will shine some more light on the big picture of the war. Really, though, this is a no-nonsense FPS game that requires little more than you to shoot, shoot and shoot some more.

That isn’t to say that it doesn’t attempt some other things to liven up this otherwise stale formula, as Enemy Front presents several scenarios where you can take a stealthier approach rather then going in guns blazing. However, in my experience with this game I found that just about every time I played that stealth made things take much longer and was really unnecessary due to the fact that just firing wildly will work every time. The enemies also seem to have cat-like senses, so when I even tried to be stealth-like I found that it would eventually result in the whole area becoming alert anyway. I’d like to think that this is due to my own incompetence with stealth mechanics, but due to my success with the genre in other games I don’t think that is the case.

Enemy Front

Although straight-forward gunplay is something that I have no problem with on paper, the way that Enemy Front implements it is like watching paint dry. Every scenario you find yourself in is relatively the same, with the level design, objectives and methods of getting through the level being pretty stagnant. You have to deal with this formula over and over and over again, making the game overstay its welcome far before you get to the credits. Plus, you have to deal with all of the little mechanical flubs along the way that make the experience even more infuriating. I found that there were times when I was completely behind cover and found that I was still getting hit by bullets and ultimately getting killed. Other times I would be shooting enemies directly in the chest, but the first couple of shots wouldn’t register at all.

Graphically, Enemy Front is pretty sub-par. While the environments are decent enough from a distance as most locations are outside in lush environments, the closer you get to any objects the ugly details become more clear. Very ugly textures mar just about every surface and character models are about as dull as can be. The cinematic sequences are even worse, as we are given close-up shots on speaking characters and notice that the lip-syncing with the dialogue is atrocious and the characters display little to no emotion at all. Couple that with just as unimpressive voice acting and you have a presentation that lacks any kind of appeal.

The game also has an online component, where you have the option of taking on people across the entire world in 3 whole game modes. The game modes you have to select from are Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Radio Transmission, but I am unable to report how any of these game modes perform as I could not get one single match going. I tried 5 different times on all 3 game modes and waited around 4 hours in the pre-game lobby in total, but could not find enough people to get a match going. This close after release, that is not a good sign at all. The only information I can give you here is that it is incredibly difficult to find a match on the Xbox 360 version of the game.

Enemy Front

It’s rare that I come across a game where I am continuously dumbfounded by the rate at which it’s coming up short. It’s par for the course for any game to have some faults here and there, but usually they are easy to overlook thanks to a core mechanic that the developers really get right. The problem with Enemy Front is that it drops the ball in pretty much every area imaginable; never doing anything so badly that it’s unplayable, but never coming anywhere close to a point where the experience could be enjoyable. The World War II genre hasn’t been interesting in years, but Enemy Front has given us what is easily one of the worst examples of the genre yet.


Wolfenstein The New Order

New Video Game Releases (May 19th – 25th, 2014)

Things are picking up this week as we have a major new release in the form of Wolfenstein: The New Order. The game is a reboot by MachineGames of the classic FPS series that is set in an alternate historical reality where Nazis won World War II. Scroll down to see a complete list of what is coming out from May 18th to May 25th, 2014.


  • Mega Man V (Virtual Console – Game Boy)

PlayStation 3

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Drakengard 3
  • Mugen Souls Z
  • R-Type Dimensions (PSN)

PlayStation 4

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • Transistor (PSN)
  • Sparkle 2 (PSN)


  • Sparkle 2 (PSN)

Wii U

  • Swords & Soldiers HD (eShop)
  • Squids Odyssey (eShop)
  • Fit Music for Wii U (eShop)

Xbox 360

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order

Xbox One

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
Bound By Flame

New Video Game Releases (May 5th – 11th, 2014)

The first week of May is upon us, though nothing all that attention-grabbing in the world of video games is  coming along with it. The most notable releases are the highly-anticipated PlayStation 4 version of MLB: The Show 2014, the God of War Collection on Vita and Bound by Flame for the PS3 and PS4. Scroll down to see a complete list of what is coming out from May 5th to May 11th, 2014.


  • Mega Man 2 (Virtual Console – Game Boy)
  • Mega Man 3 (Virtual Console – Game Boy)
  • The Denpa Men 3: The Rise of Digitoll (eShop)
  • Grinsia (eShop)

PlayStation 3

  • Bound by Flame
  • Hakuoki: Stories of the Shinsengumi
  • Sportsfriends (PSN)
  • Titan Attacks (PSN)

PlayStation 4

  • MLB 14: The Show
  • Bound by Flame
  • Sportsfriends (PSN)
  • Stick It to the Man! (PSN)
  • Titan Attacks (PSN)


  • God of War Collection
  • Broken Sword 5: The Serpent’s Curse (PSN)
  • Titan Attacks (PSN)

Wii U (N/A)

Xbox 360

  • Bound by Flame
  • Peggle 2 (XBL)

Xbox One (N/A)

Silent Hill Downpour (2012) Review

The Silent Hill series was once the pinnacle of survival horror in the gaming world. It had a ridiculously creepy setting, dark and complex characters and some of the best stories known to the genre. However, it has since been on the decline; releasing game after game that just kept the series spinning in circles and scrambling to figure out how to stay relevant in an increasingly irrelevant genre. Then comes along the newest addition to the series; a game that goes right back to the series’ roots while also expanding on the setting and offering perhaps the most dark story of the series yet. Silent Hill Downpour is the game that finally puts the series back on the map.

The game starts with perhaps the most shocking intro of any game in the series. You are Murphy Pendleton, a prisoner at Ryall State Prison, though you don’t know exactly what he is in for. You then witness Murphy murder a man in the showers in one of the most brutal killings I have ever seen in a video game, ESPECIALLY considering it is all done by the player. You have no idea what is going on and you are instantly unsure if Murphy is good or bad. It’s clear right from the very beginning that this game is aiming to shock just as much as the series did originally over a decade ago.

When Murphy is being transported to another prison, the bus crashes and we end up in – you guessed it – Silent Hill. It still has that trademark look and feel to it but with some key differences. When it starts to downpour (it’s in the name for a reason) the enemies become even more frequent and hostile. This adds a whole different element of fear to the game, because you know that if you are out in the open you need to run for your life. The fog obscures your vision as you try to escape what lurks behind you, but regardless of where you go, nowhere is safe. Atmosphere has always been a strength of these series and it continues to be here.

An important component of the game is when you suddenly shift from the real world to the “other” world, which for all intents and purposes is a living and breathing hell. As soon as you arrive there you are almost immediately being stalked by this glowing spirit ball of death (so I call it) that will destroy you if it catches up. This leads to some surprisingly fast-paced chase scenes in which you are running through corridors, up stairways and knocking over things just to try and impede the progress of your ghastly stalker. These sequences are some of the highlights of the game, as these sudden rushes of speed into the unknown are very nerve-wracking.

   Murphy running from the glowing spirit ball of death

The one thing about Downpourthat is still perhaps a bit too similar to others in the series is the combat system. It still feels very stiff sometimes and can hamper your style of playing because the controls are too simplistic and slow. You can make the argument that it adds to the intensity of each fight, but more times than not you can be become aggravated because a normal human in that situation wouldn’t move like a friggin’ robot. It isn’t QUITE as bad as it was in past games, but it still feels like the black sheep in terms of features present in this game.

This leads to the storage system, which is limited but is one thing that still works really well for the series. While you can carry a handgun or a shotgun, you will find that throughout most of the game you will be switching between fire-axes, lamps, frying pans, rakes, crowbars, etc., as you desperately try to fend off swarms of Silent Hill’s very own residents. All of these items break, which adds a lot of tension to the combat system. You might be holding an axe and feel as though you have the upper hand, but when halfway through the fight it snaps in half, you are suddenly s***ting your pants.

Speaking of s***ting your pants; let’s talk about the evil waiting to kill you in Silent Hill. The most common enemies are these crazed and maniacal women that scream, (I call them Screaming Mimi’s) causing you to be temporarily stunned while they mosey on in and smack you. What is most horrifying about them is that they are, in a way, Silent Hill’s law enforcement. You read that right. While you roam the sick and twisted streets of Silent Hill, you will often hear a police siren in the distance. If the cop car the siren belongs to catches up to you, you are suddenly facing several Screaming Mimi’s at once, along with anyone else they brought along for the ride. Rounding out the cast of demented freaks is a wolf-man, giant mutants, living mannequins and a few other lovely folks that I won’t shed any light on. Wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise.

A common occurrence

The exploration factor in Downpouris fantastic, and definitely made the town come alive. As you wander around to your next objective, you’ll often come across optional areas that you can access. These areas are also extremely well done, not seeming like thrown together side-missions but rather a fleshing out of the mood and atmosphere the game so expertly crafts. There is one particular instance where you climb through a basement window where the crying of a woman can be heard that was extremely creepy. There are numerous areas like this and also ones that are completely different that are either part of the games many side quests or are just there to freak you out and make you want to run back with your tail between your legs.

In terms of plot, this game definitely has one of the best in the series. Throughout the game you are learning about why Murphy Pendleton killed that man in the showers, and even wondering yourself if he is a good guy or a bad guy. It’s a really nice twist because not only are you surrounded by evil, but the very character you are using may be evil as well. This is all brought to life magnificently by great writing and terrific voice acting that brings these characters to life and gives them immense personality. It was very compelling putting all of the pieces of the puzzle together in this story and figuring out what all of the scattered plot elements lead up to. I won’t spoil it, but I will say that the payoff does not disappoint.

If there is one issue with the game that is more serious than all others, it is the frame rate. Sometimes there will be hiccups in combat that will throw off your timing, resulting in an unfair hit. Other times, you will be exploring a new area and you will experience a few seconds of stuttering. These aren’t huge problems that break the game, but they are definitely noticeable and perhaps could have been buffed out with a bit more development time. There was this one hallway in a building towards the end of the game that caused severe lag whenever I walked through it. Luckily circumstances that severe were few and far between. The load times can occasionally be a bit long, but I only remember sitting there looking at the clock once or twice.

Silent Hill Downpour is a breath of familiar but surprisingly fresh air that rejuvenates the series and reminds all of us what survival horror is truly capable of. Throughout the entire play-through you will find yourself extremely tense and cautious of what waits in the dark or on the other side of the door you’re about to open. It’s these simple but timeless elements that make this series so effectively ominous. Resident Evil, take note; this is how you continue a long-running series, not by stripping it of its personality but by expanding upon it. Downpour proves that this old town still has plenty of thrills and shrills left to offer all those foolishly willing to pay another fun (and horrifying) visit to Silent Hill.

Welcome to Silent Hill

Release Date: March 13, 2012

Genres: Survival Horror, Action, Suspense